Boy, when will I learn better? We had some fascinating rocks in the shaded garden on the side of our house when I was a kid. They were about the size of small bowling balls and they were pockmarked with little trilobite fossils and had these mysterious holes and tunnels running through them, but if you picked them up to look at the evidence of past life, they were cold and slimy and beneath them the soil stayed dark and damp no matter what the weather. You almost always exposed skittering centipedes and moistly glistening slugs that would go fleeing from the light, or some wriggling worm digging its way to safety.
Better to go ride bikes in the sunshine.
Similarly, I just enjoyed a short stint in one of the more active Facebook fan groups devoted to one of my most beloved artists, but I think I'll enjoy my much longer stint out of it even more. But I discovered that same creepy feeling from childhood-- nowadays there is nothing more shudder-inducing to me than to look at a gorgeous double page spread from some old comic and below it find one hundred comments of frothing near-psychosis from guys who've apparently memorized the entire sordid history of American comics but have developed diametrically opposed viewpoints on what it all signifies.
It's as if the lower the stakes, the greater the rage. I've always felt you don't fight a battle unless by winning it you gain some advantage or benefit. A lot of these comic fans seem to feel the opposite. They risk crushing ego defeat in hopes of winning a victory that's so paltry and pathetic it amounts to almost nothing.
And let's not even get into the rage storms that invariably follow every news release about a comic book-related movie or change in a character. I know. Oh, how I know. I've been there and back.
This disillusionment has spread even to whatever it is I'm attempting to accomplish with this blog. I spent a few days struggling with a post deconstructing a vintage miniseries, and in the end, all I could think was, "Ain't never seen anyone so shit-all stupid as you writing this post. You musta got manure for your brains." Complete waste of time and energy. I finally just deleted the stupid thing except for the images. I'll do something with them instead. Something I hope will be interesting and illuminating and only a little bit asinine.
Anyway, despite my sour mood at the moment, nothing can stop my love for comics or my need to read them and then figure out what a story means, to analyze it in a literary way, put it into some kind of historical context, or simply to find something amusing about it to share here. I still want to write about my favorite artists, stories and characters. I still want to write about things I find a little weird or funky. But I also want to try to keep things lighter and more positive. Which means posting here to resounding silence. I could probably garner more hits by turning into one of those slugs or centipedes, but as I said...
I'd rather we ride our bicycles in the sunshine.